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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Paul Katz, MD (Georgetown Unniversity)
Description: Medical students and residents complete their training well versed in the technical skills need to provide care to patients. Considerable time is devoted to the nuances of molecular biology and the management of critically ill patients, but precious little effort is expended on providing information regarding the business aspects of healthcare delivery. While soundly educated from the standpoint of patient management, young physicians are ill prepared to deal with the complex and rapidly changing landscapes of reimbursement, management, and legal issues. This author does a credible job of providing a primer to this audience in an easy-to-read and well illustrated format.
Purpose: The purpose is to present medical trainees with the history and current status of the business of medicine in the U.S.
Audience: Medical students and residents are the intended audience.
Features: This book is based on a course from the University of South Florida, where the author realized this gap in medical education. Seven clear chapters begin with the history of specific topics such as managed care, medical malpractice, and workforce issues. The current environment is assessed and predictions and trends for the future presented. Readers will find the discussions of changes in healthcare delivery and reimbursement particularly helpful; this latter area is often the most challenging for the newly trained practitioner. Power Point illustrations are used liberally and generally work quite well. A closing glossary of terms, while certainly not all inclusive, will give the audience a basis for understanding current jargon and the alphabet soup of abbreviations.
Assessment: Although the difficulty of remaining up-to-date in this field is obvious, the absence of information about the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) is a bit surprising for a text with a 1999 publishing date. Give the potential impact of the BBA on healthcare, this omission is an unfortunate one, and might leave less astute readers with a lesser amount of information than is desirable. Nonetheless, the author generally succeeds in this book.